Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Elementary Geography - Rivers

The older girls were working with a great 'Rivers of the Continents' activity (purchased from ebay a while ago)

They started by matching the name tags to the blank map
then I provided a blank outline map for them to draw the rivers on - however as the maps I had provided were political maps rather than continent maps they decided that it would be better to get some tracing paper and trace their own.

I love when they make an activity their own :)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


This week is an interesting one for us as we have family over to stay - generally this means spending loads of time with them and less on our lessons. I don't feel too bad about it because the UK schools don't start until 4th Sept so 'taking it easy' for a week doesn't put us behind - or at least that's what I keep telling myself ;)

However limited my computer time is this week there was something I wanted to share. DD8 turned 9 on Monday and this year the girls made a pact to create each others birthday pressies - historically the older girls have made a few things for the younger ones but this year they decided they are all old enough to do it, here's what they made

DD6 made a paper mache pot, DD4 made a lavender filled pillow and the picture while DD2 mixed the dough for DD8's favourite biscuits :)

On a side note - I was wondering if I should change the girls names (as originally I used their ages to identify them) or if it would be too confusing when reading back posts if DD8 turned into DD9??
Any thoughts welcome.

See you next week xx

Friday, 19 August 2011


I was very privileged to receive the 'one lovely blog' award twice over the weekend

I received them from Montessori Print Shop and Ponad Siebie - I just wanted to say a big THANKS to you both. It was a wonderful experience to wake up to these awards on Monday as both are blogs I greatly admire.
The Rules:
1. The recipient of the award must thank the one who passed the award on, and link back to their blog.
2. You must mention 7 things about yourself.
3. You must pass the award on to other blogs and let them know they have won the award.

Once again thank you to both Montessori Print Shop and Ponad Siebie

7 things about me
  1. I am a closet farmer - I have 5 chickens, a large veggie patch and secretly want a cow (but my garden isn't big enough)
  2. I love, love, love, love to read
  3. I despise slugs (although I quiet like snails)
  4. I grow lots of herbs (but only one of my kids likes to drink my herb teas)
  5. I am a reluctant craft'er - reluctant because I don't enjoy it, but a craft'er because it saves a fortune on HS supplies.
  6. I enjoy restoring furniture - something about the smell of sanded wood makes me smile.
  7. I love quotes - my current favourite is Emmeline Pankhurst ' Deeds not words'
There are so many blogs I love, it's really hard to just pick a couple but these two have been on my radar for a while now and are well worth a visit.

The homeschool den - Full of wonderful, hands on activities and great Montessori ideas.
Discovery Days and Montessori Moments - an honest, inspirational look at a Montessori homeschool journey. She has some great ideas (like the continent boxes).


Phonics Montessori Style

If you've been following us, you'll know that we have been using a mix of Jolly Phonics and the Montessori Pink series to teach DD4 to read. (more about it  here)
Today she finished her first two Jolly Phonics books so we used a great revision game to make sure she had absorbed it all so we can move onto book 3.
I presented her with a basket of objects (all start with one of the following letters from book 1 - s, a, t, i, p, n - we will revise book 2's letters later), wooden letters and sandpaper letters. The object was very simple, she had to correctly group the objects by their first letter (she also chose to sound out the letter each time as well)

She started with s and a

She loved this so much she has requested to do basket 2 tomorrow (Saturday) rather than wait until next week :)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Egyptian Amulets

We spent time today researching Egyptians and their amulets - it was a great way to introduce their 'gods' and their superstitions.
We looked at a sample of stones they considered precious - turquoise, amethyst and lapis lazuli.
and finished by using an activity from the Evan Moor history pocket  to make our own amulets.
 My favourite part of the day had to be when DD6 decided that the single hole punch wasn't gonna beat her - hard as it was she persisted and managed to win :)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Space day 4 - lifecycle of stars (basic)

we were back on space today - we used the life cycle of a star cards from counting coconuts
We started with a quick recap on how stars form (and rebuilt our original model)
We discussed how once the star has used all the hydrogen in its core the outer layers of hydrogen start to burn - this releases light and heat which inflate the outer layers making the star thousands of times bigger (which means our star model would be big enough to fill the room) we call this a red giant.

Once all the hydrogen around the core is used, the core contracts to form a white dwarf and the outer layers break away from the star creating a stellar nebula.
the white dwarf slowly cools turning red, then brown and finally black.

While the older girls were writing their narations and working with the 3 part cards - DD2 and DD4 amused themselves with some stamps (sun, moon and star),
star punch and played with their sensory tub (box of marbles filled with astronauts, stars and space rockets)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Nature - Tree book

The girls spent the day with their nanny/grandma today and she came up with a great little activity for them - tree book's.

she provided them with a great book called 'Usborne Trees sticker book' which is full of facts and pictures of various trees (and stickers!)

They then had to go into the garden and identify a number of trees by looking at the leaves and fruits, once identified they did a leaf rubbing, bark rubbing, drew the fruits and wrote a paragraph about it.

Later these pages will be bound into a small tree journal of their very own.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Historical food day

We spent a great day with our local HE group - the theme was Historical Food.
The girls got to make some knot biscuits from the 17th century.
Make sweets from ancient Egypt (called Tiger Nuts - they the oldest recorded candy recipe) and learn about the Egyptian diet.

Discover all about the foods introduced during the British Empire and learn about the Anglo Saxon foods and lifestyle
Study the rationing during WW2 and how it effected diet - this included DD2's favourite activity, eating carrot's on a stick as a replacement for ice lollies.
Taste various Victorian sweets and cakes as well as making rose and orange creams.
They finished the day by creating a timeline to show when various food had been introduced into our diets.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Space - day 3 - formation of stars

Today the girls had a great little activity to show the formation of a protostar and it's development into a star.
I started the presentation with a discussion about how everything in the world (and space!) is made from atoms, then I showed 4 small balls of play doh and said they represented some atoms of hydrogen floating in space, gravity pulls these atoms together
the girls then made loads more 'hydrogen atoms' and I used gravity to again pull these atoms into my original creating a protostar. We discussed how a protostar is not a star as it produces no heat or light (great little language exercise - guess what the word protostar means - proto meaning first, earliest form of)

Next I talked about when it gets big enough the gravity and pressure causes some of the original hydrogen atoms to change into something else. I ripped the ball in half (much to their dismay) and pulled out my original 4 balls of playdoh and swapped them for a larger ball in a different colour and explained that this was now helium, when the helium atoms form a small bit of hydrogen gets left over and this left over bit is the fuel that the protostart burns to create light and heat thus turning it into a star. (we did go abit more in depth with terms like stellar nucleosynthesis and nebula but only the older ones picked up on it)

we looked at the life cycle of a star chart from Counting Coconuts and added our protostar step in. The girls then took it in turns to narrate and act out the presentation.

They finished by the younger girls playing star play doh, star pegging basket and star imprinting (again using the play doh) while the older girls did their write up and then used some great 3 part cards from Montessori Print Shop.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Felt Space Mat Tutorial - planet ratios

This was really simple to put together. I started with a rectangle of black felt (190cm x 45cm) and loads of felt remnant's and fat quarters - it cost me less than £10 to buy the black felt and the additional fat quarters I needed.

I started by drawing & cutting 2 circles for each planet from felt and 1 circle from wadding - sizes were: Mercury  2.5cm, Venus 4cm, Earth 4.5cm, moon 1.5cm, mars 2.5cm, Jupiter 21cm, Saturn  16cm, Uranus 14cm, Neptune 13cm - I made these measurements up as I was eyeballing a photo in a Montessori book to judge the sizes, I personally think the Moon, Neptune and Uranus ended up too big but I wasn't about to start all over - it does what I intended by giving them an idea of the relative sizes so if you want to change any of the dimensions feel free : )
I sewed the planets together and then glued embellishments to them (was bored of sewing by this time LOL)
Next I moved onto the Sun - again I eyeballed the picture and tried to create the edge of a circle to show them its immense size in relation to everything else. I stitched the wadding and yellow felt directly to the black felt.

I was going to use velcro dots to mark the positions of the planets but managed to misplace them, It turned out the girls had a general idea of positioning already so they weren't essential.

They did decide however, that the asteroid belt was essential so I gave them some scissors, glue, felt bits and a black arch of felt. They worked for ages so I didn't have the heart to tell them that their asteroids were too big (some are bigger than the moon!) and in reality they are small rocks and dust.
The name labels are handwritten and laminated, I store all the planets and labels in a plastic wallet (so I can easily add other information cards at a later stage) and rolled up the mat.

Would I have done anything differently - yes I would have used double the black felt and folded in half with some wadding in between so it made a nice padded base and would probably have sewn a pocket on the back for the planets etc, but that's in a dream world where I have more time to make things :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...